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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Anticipation is Half the Fun of Travel

Edinburgh - my pinterest board
My husband and I are leaving soon for a two-week trip to the United Kingdom - half in London and the other half in Scotland. Every other year, we travel for a week with four other couples to some European destination and rent a cottage, house, chateau, villa, castle - you name it! We have been adding an additional week since we're already spending a fortune on airfare. The location for the extra week is often based on airport used or other considerations. In this case, we are flying in and out of London and since we were last there in 1989 when our son was less than a year old, we felt that a follow-up trip was definitely in order.

Planning a trip is half the fun and, according to some sources, the greater source of happiness since the actual event may be fraught with issues like traffic and/or weather delays, lost luggage, and other unanticipated problems. Planning is filled with idealized visions of famous sites to be seen; shops and restaurants to check-out; experiences to pursue; and, companionable people to engage with - only the best of the best!

An article this morning in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled "Planning a Trip is Half the Fun" by New York Time writer, Stephanie Rosenbloom, describes the psychology behind this phenomena.
"Social scientists have been saying for years that we get an extra happiness boost if we consciously delay any type of pleasure ... Doing this allows us to build up positive expectations, to relish how enjoyable the experience might be.
Scottish church - see pinterest link above
While in Scotland, our group will be staying in Winton Cottage - part of a larger estate about half an hour from Edinburgh link to website. It looks wonderful!

We LOVE to travel and I must agree that the planning and anticipation are a particularly pleasurable element of the experience. I usually start intensive planning for international travel a year or more out and that includes some of the things mentioned in the article; reading books about the locale; talking with fellow travelers/friends about their experiences and recommendations; collecting photos and images (via pinterest) to help me envision the location and identify "must sees"; and, reviewing apartment and bed and breakfast options for our trip. In our division of labor, I am responsible for our accommodations and my husband is responsible for the transportation - usually airline and car rentals.  He is also the first to clip articles and buy travel books.

I hope to have some great photos to post here soon! I am already planning next year's big trip - a whole month in Paris, France. Ah .... that anticipation!!

Street in Edinburgh - see pinterest link above

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thinking of Mother's Day at Scott's Antique Markets

This is the second weekend in May and, therefore, Scott's Antique Markets weekend - link to site. This large market, held in two separate areas south of the city of Atlanta, is heralded as the world's largest flea market. I try to go each month usually accompanied by my friend, Bette. We have developed a visiting strategy that culminates with a double-scoop of ice cream at the end ... after all that walking and work!

When attending the markets, I am always on the look-out for those special refurbished (or refurbishable) upholstered pieces that would add to my collection. I have several vendors that I check with each month, most of whom are at the North building site.  I also try to plan my observations and attendant photo shoots around a theme for this blog. This also helps me look at the market offerings through a different prism. Yesterday, I chose to look for items that remind me of mothers and motherhood. It proved to be an interesting challenge. 

Here are some of the images:

Finding good mother's day reminders was a little more challenging than I thought it would. I loved the sweet baptismal  /christening dresses and the European style baby stroller. Those kids do grow up fast!
The silver service is the same pattern that Bette's grandmother had (and now in Bette's possession). The dishes were her mother's every-day dishes. Such memories!
My mother came of age during World War II in The Netherlands and had a lovely cream and gold pattern china that my daughter now proudly displays on special occasions. She also had the more commonly found blue willow pattern as a tea and coffee service.
I couldn't resist this one. I have for many years collected pigs and  have a sweet Lladro pig mother with babies. This reminded me of that special piece.
I was easily distracted at the market by the usual hunt for upholstered furniture and ended up finding a number of pieces to bring home. I always stop by to see Sharon P. and look at her fine refurbished pieces (always in distressed lacquer finish and usually with neutral linen fabrics). I sell her items as part of my "European Linen" collection. She does such fine work! I bought four Century French-style chairs and a settee. I also ran into a woman who runs estate sales in the are (The Turnage Company). Her sales are generally high-end (and a little too pricey for me). She also happens to be the aunt of my next door neighbor - small world. I bought a very nice three piece set of rusk chairs and ottoman that I plan to have reupholstered in a largish blue and cream/white print. 

It was a great and nostalgic day at the markets!

My purchases from yesterday - coming soon to my sales sites!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shopping in Madrid - El Rastro Market

El Rastro market in Madrid.
I am still enjoying my memories (and over 2000 photos) of last month's trip to Spain with my husband. We spent the first week in the Andalusia area (south) and enjoyed the wonderful beaches, historic venues and, of course, the markets. I previously wrote about these southern markets link to posting.

We also enjoyed shopping in Madrid - a huge, remarkably pedestrian-friendly city. One of the "Top Ten Madrid" is El Rastro, the most famous flea market in all of Spain.

El Rastro de Madrid or simply el Rastro is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid (Spain). It is held every Sunday and public holiday during the year and is located along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and theRonda de Toledo (just south of La Latina metro station).
A great variety of products (new and used) can be found at el Rastro. A number of antique shops in the local area are also open on Sunday. link to article
Shopping at the Market - I bought one of these lovely scarves - a wonderful deal!
We happened to be in the city on a Sunday so, like 1000's of others, walked over - it was less than two miles from our apartment's Austrias neighborhood (near Royal Palace).

The weather was sunny and slightly cool - perfect for this kind of activity. We discovered that a LOT of people thought the same thing - it was a very crowded but largely respectful event. We had been warned that this is a place to be on the lookout for pick-pockets and thieves but didn't sense or observe any danger or shenanigans.

I bought two of these lovely bracelets and decided to keep both. The inserts are not stones but beans - how clever.
I found many, many reasonable items and added to my gift and souvenir inventory.
Classical Musicians at the Market.
Shoppers at El Rastro Market

Here's an interesting side-note: The word "rastro" means "trail" and refers to the animal innards that were once dragged through this ancient working-class street. (from DK Eyewitness Travel).  

I ended up buying a number of things - mostly in set so twos. Most people were willing to bargain but only if you bought more than one item - so that is what I did.  

This is a great market with some excellent prices - I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Patterned Fabrics - Paisley

I love patterns on upholstered pieces although I recognize that they need to be carefully planned and integrated. The bold use of patterns is a good thing - it shows confidence and provides an element of interest and intrigue. Few patterns have thad the sustaining power of paisleys.  Here's a little bit of history:
Paisley is a droplet-shaped vegetable motif of Persian and Indian origin. It resembles a twisted teardrop that is kidney-shaped. When it is made into a pattern, it is sometimes called “Persian pickles” by American traditionalists, especially when it is designed on quilts and textiles. There are many stories about the origin of paisley. But whatever they are, one thing is clear—it has gone a long way and it has influenced many designs around the globe. You can see paisleys in textiles, wallpapers, and many others. They usually come in patterns and are sometimes called boteh, palme, ambi or carrey. link to article 
In doing this research, I learned that the word "Paisley" comes from a mill in Scotland where it had been manufactured for some time.  There are many, many versions of paisley and they come in all colors of the rainbow - some are depicted above. Others have been added to my "fabrics pinterest board" - link. They are very trendy now and may always have been trendy - the colors and patterns work so well in so many settings.

I have several paisley fabrics in my "fabric room" and haven't used it as often as I should. It is trendy and never looses its edginess.  I will have to double up on my efforts to use this great pattern.

Here are the few pieces I have with a paisley fabric - both heavy woven fabrics!

The top chair also has an ottoman and is done in a nice great pattern - the bottom club chair is upholstered in brown and dark cream - both great looks!